But in the right hands, that outdated tech may still have some shelf life. With a little effort, you can dispose of your old gear without ending up on the wrong side of the law, and earn cash or help others in the process.
Trash it responsibly
McClain Insurance Services of Everett and E-Waste, a local electronics recycler, have partnered to provide a free electronics recycling event Saturday.
The public is invited to drop off outdated electronics from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McClain Insurance office, 10410 19th Ave. SE, Everett. Electronic devices such as desktop computers, laptops, TVs, computer monitors and cellphones can be recycled for free.
Items such as printers, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, small microwaves and various other household electronics that are not covered under the Washington state electronics recycling program will be accepted for a $5 fee.
E-Waste has a record of recycling 99 percent of all the electronics it receives while meeting environmental and safety laws and regulations since it began operations in 2006. E-Waste is the only R2-certified electronics recycler in Snohomish County, and E-Waste does not export end-of-life electronics to undeveloped countries, according to a press release.
If you're looking to dispose of devices such as cellphones, Apple computers or video cameras, you might as well make some money off your upgrade. Companies such as BuyMyTronics.com offer to pay for some of your old electronics, even if they're less than functional.
Visit the website and answer a few questions about your device, and you'll receive an instant quote. They'll even give you a free shipping label to print, or send a box to your home to mail back.
Checks arrive in the mail about two weeks later, according to CEO Brett Mosley. He said his company is able to pay back 50 percent to 75 percent of the purchase price for some devices, particularly if they are Apple products.
Users also can participate in the company's Phone2Food program, which donates the buyback value to UNICEF to fight famine in East Africa.
BuyMyTronics sells most of the 40,000 devices it refurbishes annually via wholesale markets or eBay.
Mosley said really old devices are "sent down the electronic food chain" for recycling.